PM meets German President, wraps up first leg of 4-nation tour

Berlin: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday paid a courtesy call to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at his official residence here before leaving for Spain on the second leg of his four-nation trip

Modi met Steinmeier at Castle Bellevue, the scenic official residence of the German President located in Berlin’s Tiergarten district on the banks of the river Spree, and signed the visitor’s book before being given a tour of the castle

“Thank you Germany! My visit has led to very positive outcomes in terms of furthering the close ties India and Germany enjoy,” Modi said in his goodbye message as he left for Spain on the second leg of his four-nation tour which will then cover Russia and end in France

Earlier, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay tweeted some photographs of the meeting

“Reaffirming resolve for strong and dynamic relationship

PM @narendramodi calls on President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at Castle Bellevue,” Baglay tweeted

“After fruitful bilateral engagements, PM @narendramodi concludes first leg of his visit, departs from Germany,” he tweeted

Modi’s next stop is Spain where he will discuss with his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy ways to deepen bilateral engagement, including in the high-tech sector. This will be first visit by an Indian prime minister since 1988

From Spain, he will travel to St Petersburg in Russia on June 1 where he will hold the 18th India-Russia annual Summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin and attend the St Petersburg International Economic Forum the next day

The prime minister will be in Paris on June 2 and 3 where he will hold official talks with newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron with a view to further strengthening India-France strategic ties

Earlier, Modi was received by German Chanceller Angela Merkel at the Chancellery for the Fourth Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) during which the two leaders reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral issues and clinched 12 agreements

Eight of the declarations of intent were signed by senior ministers and envoys in the prime ministerial delegation in the presence of the two leaders while the others were confirmed on the sidelines

They covered areas of digitalisation, skill development, sustainability, cyber policy, development cooperation, advanced training, vocational education, health sector, alternative medicine, foreign service institutes, railway safety and sustainable urban development

“The world can’t move forward without innovation and we believe innovation and democratic values are a guarantee for development. India and Germany have both in our blood and we will move together in that direction,” Modi said at the conclusion of the IGC, a format he likened to the Pragati meeting he holds in Delhi

The two leaders issued a Joint Statement at the end of their deliberations, in which they agreed to further strengthen the Strategic Partnership between India and Germany by deepening cooperation on foreign policy and security issues as well as on sustainable development and enhanced trade and investment ties

Merkel later hosted Modi over a luncheon meeting with senior leaders followed by the inauguration of the Indo-German Business Summit, where Modi set out India’s stall as an investment-friendly destination and the world’s fastest growing major economy and a “bright spot in the economic landscape of the world”.